Vertical hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission is the important route of chronic HBV infection. Although infant immunoprophylaxis is effective, a significant number of infants still become infected, most are associated with intrauterine infection. New evidences support intrauterine treatment in cases of high risk.
The aim of this study was to review the current evidences and recommendations for management of HBV infection in pregnancy.
Original research articles, review articles, and guidelines were reviewed.
The management can be summarized as follows: (1) all pregnant women should be screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to HBsAg. High-risk HBsAg-negative pregnant women without immunity should be vaccinated during pregnancy. (2) HBsAg-positive pregnant women should undergo further workup for liver status and indicative factors for immunoprophylaxis failure. (3) Pregnant women should be treated with HBV DNA levels greater than 200,000 IU/mL or 6 log copies/mL. (4) Antiviral drug should be started around 28 to 32 weeks. The first-line drug is tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. (5) Delivery route should be chosen based only on obstetric indications. (6) Breastfeeding is not contraindicated because it does not increase the risk of transmission in neonates with HBV vaccine and immunoglobulin administration. (7) Neonates born to HBsAg-positive mothers should receive HBV vaccine and immunoglobulin after birth as soon as possible. (8) Follow-up of the mothers and neonates is important. Beware of hepatitis flare after birth and after antiretroviral drug discontinuation; alanine transaminase assessment every 1 to 3 months until 6 months is suggested. Also, the schedule of infant vaccination and follow-up of serologic testing at 9 to 12 months old is needed.
Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians
After the completion of this review, the learners should be better able to summarize updated knowledge of infant immunoprophylaxis failure; outline how to manage pregnancy with HBV infection, both antepartum and postpartum period; and describe advantages and disadvantages of the commonly used antiviral drugs.